Coriolis Flowmeters Help Filling Machine Maker Improve Accuracy

June 6, 2012
GF S.p.A. has reduced filling times, improved accuracy and repeatability, and enabled tighter filling tolerances for its filling machines by using the Micro Motion Model FMT filling mass transmitter from Emerson Process Management.

Based in Parma, Italy, GF S.p.A. is a leader in the design and manufacture of high technology filling equipment and quality control systems. Its filling machinery is used in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries for the precision measurement of injectables, infusions, ophthalmic preparations, syrups and detergent solutions.

GF had been using filling technologies based on time-pressure instruments, as well as piston-syringe and peristaltic (roller type) pumps, for filling machines being supplied to the pharmaceutical industry. GF wanted to improve the speed and accuracy of its machines and also enable its customers to change media without the need to replace the measuring instrument, according to Marco Serventi, sales manager for GF S.p.A.. A further requirement was to enable in-line sterilization without disassembling the machine.

GF met these objectives by using the Model FMT filling mass transmitter with Micro Motion ELITE and H-Series flowmeters from Emerson Process Management. Serventi said GF was able to significantly improve system response time and reduce batch cycle times by taking advantage of integrated valve control from the transmitter, rather than the traditional pulse output set up through a programmable logic controller (PLC).

“In this highly competitive market, we are always looking for ways to improve the performance of our machines,” said Serventi. “Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis technology is accurate, reliable and user-friendly, adding value for our end user customers.” In addition, the rangeability of the Coriolis flowmeter allows different media to be dispensed without changing any mechanical components of the machine. For example, fillings can be in the range from 0.5g to 5Kg.

“The high reliability and accurate results provided by the Micro Motion instruments have now been validated by GF customers over a number of successful applications,” continued Serventi. “Based on this successful collaboration with Emerson, our company has adopted Micro Motion meters on a range of filling machinery.”

The Micro Motion Model FMT transmitter is designed for any process that requires high-speed, high-accuracy filling or dosing. It is compact and light, minimizing space requirements and reducing installation cost and effort. Its slim profile and compact dimensions reduce the footprint needed, and allow for the maximum number of fill heads possible on a machine.

According to Emerson, the unit's electronics are immune to temperature shocks from clean in place (CIP/SIP) procedures, and the sensors feature a hygienic drainable design. They are 3A-authorized and EHEDG certified for hygienic use, and designed for fast and easy cleaning with rounded corners, polished exterior surfaces, and no internal crevices.

In a YouTube video (http://youtu.be/5mZrONzlqXI), Anna Pischulina and Chuck Gray discuss how the Filling Mass Transmitter was designed and developed specifically for the filling industry.

Data from the flowmeter is logged as part of a data management system to help meet the requirements of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s 21 CFR Part 11 rules for electronic records. Any filling errors or drift away from the set-point can be used to generate alarms for the operator so that corrective action can be taken. In addition, the temperature measurement integrated into the Micro Motion ELITE Coriolis flowmeter enables the operator to check that critical parts of the machine have been correctly sterilized by recording that temperatures up to 160ºC have been reached.

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